President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today Thursday met and held discussions about the budget gaps in the education sector and possible interventions with the Belgian Ambassador to Uganda, His Excellency Rudi Veestraeten and the Deputy Chief of Mission also the acting ambassador of USA to Uganda, Christopher Krafft.
The meeting, which was attended, by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Kataha and Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Sam Kahamba Kuteesa took place at State House Entebbe.
Citing and fronting the unmet needs in the education sector, Museveni noted that much as education is crucial, the potential of African economic development is multi-sectorial based and as such, all areas of the economy must be collectively focused on.
“While this matter is of utmost importance, our guidance has been, that; It should be discussed, as a cluster of core areas to be addressed collectively in a developing economy, such as Uganda’s, as opposed to having the areas appearing to be competing against one another,” he said.
Museveni further explained that mishandling of the core areas in the economy has in the past been a huge setback that strained not just one sector, but the entire economy.
“This is the misdiagnosis that led us to an economic collapse to the point that by 1986, the country was almost entirely reliant on smuggling for basic goods. We have been working to correct this over the years, with a budget strategy shaped by the need to build a viable base, not just for survival, but sustainable prosperity,” Museveni noted.
Museveni also emphasized that for growing economies like Uganda’s, employing the idea of capital expenditure, (money spent on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets) is a more viable option while eying economic development.
“Capital expenditure on infrastructure, energy, agriculture, industry/manufacturing, and security may, in the short to medium term, be prioritised over recurrent expenditure like salaries,” he said.
Revisiting the past economic collapse, Museveni noted that Uganda has since changed strategies and focuses on creating a solid base where all other sectors can flourish, education inclusive.
“As a country, we budget to build a durable base and a viable political unit that will defend us. It’s like building the armed forces, if you don’t have an army, you don’t have education, security, health etc,” the President said.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni said that both Belgium and United States have stood with Uganda and have helped to support different programmes and projects in the education sector.
The Belgian Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Rudi Veestraeten said that investment in education is key to the development of any country.
“The revival of this conversation is always an opportunity to look further within, towards aggressively tackling wastage within the national budget and making re-allocations towards the primary sectors and of course further prioritise within those sectors, as the need arises,” Museveni remarked.